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Is Obesity A Problem That Can't


Both Americans and Canadians have gotten fatter since the late 1980's, but Americans have gotten even fatter. That's according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report was based on Body Mass Index - a BMI of 30 or more qualifying as obese - and covered a 3-year period ending in 2009. About 25% of Canadians were obese - 27% of men and 24% of women. In comparison, 33% of Americans were obese - 33% of men and 36% of women. Considering Canada is our neighbor, one might have expected the percentages to be "borderline" close.

The fatter Americans get, the more stress they put on their knees. According to Harvard Researchers, the number of knee replacement surgeries doubled between 1997 and 2007. During the same period, the proportion of obese Americans increased by approximately 15%. When researchers compared 12,355 normal weight, overweight and obese patients, the complications after knee surgery - hospital readmission, leg swelling, bacterial infections, respiratory disorders, neurologic and gastrointestinal problems - were higher for obese patients. The good news is 2 studies showed that after weight loss surgery, knee motion improved and pain decreased. Basically, overweight people "kneed" to lose weight.

What doctors need to do is tell their patients they are overweight. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine analyzed data on approximately 5,500 people. Thirty-three percent of obese participants and 55% of overweight participants had never been told by a doctor that they were overweight. Nearly 20% of the obese people whose doctor hadn't discussed weight with them described themselves as "not overweight" versus 3% of those whose doctors had discussed it. Because the patients who'd discussed the issue were more than twice as likely to have tried to lose weight the previous year, maybe doctors should have "weighting" rooms.

However, doctors should know that belly fat is not the best predictor of heart disease risk. A study published in the journal Lancet analyzed data from 58 previous studies, including 221,934 people who were followed for 10 years or more. The study's conclusion was that in spite of previous research, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and Body Mass Index measurements were all similar in their ability to predict both the risk of heart disease and stroke. Excess fat - no matter where it's located on the body - is unhealthful. Those who had thought their belly fat was more dangerous can now have a belly laugh.



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Knight Pierce Hirst takes a second look at what makes life interesting and it takes only second at http://knightwatch.typepad.com




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